SPRINGFIELD – To expand clean energy infrastructure across Illinois, State Senator Rachel Ventura spearheaded legislation through the Senate that would allow local government to apply for loans through the Illinois Finance Authority Climate Bank.

“It is our moral obligation to address the ongoing climate crisis at all levels,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “By offering these low-rate loans to local government, we will not only save taxpayers money in the long run, but also address and tackle the effects of climate change head on.”

Senate Bill 3597 would allow units of local government to apply and obtain a loan from the Illinois Finance Authority Climate Bank to build, purchase, remodel or improve clean energy infrastructure.


After the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act passed in 2021, cities in Illinois were allowed to borrow funds from the Climate Bank. Between 2022 and 2023, the IFA/Climate Bank has mobilized approximately $627 million in private capital for climate finance projects, including water quality infrastructure, solid waste management and Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy projects.

In 2023, the first full year of IFA's designation as the Climate Bank, it mobilized $256 million for climate finance purposes. In early April, IFA/Climate Bank became a sub awardee of a $5 billion national federal award to the Coalition for Green Capital through the USEPA Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) of the Inflation Reduction Act. Additionally, IFA/Climate Bank submitted/participated in at least nine federal funding applications/awards. To date, they have received $60 million in federal funding awards, with more anticipated.

“By allowing local government to apply for low-rate loans, it opens the door for projects like solar farms, EV infrastructure, hydro dams, energy efficiencies and so much more,” said Ventura. “We should be encouraging all levels of government to make these energy changes.”

“The Illinois Climate Bank is grateful to Senator Ventura for her leadership on SB 3597, legislation that will advance Governor Pritzker’s goals under the nation-leading Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA),” said Chris Meister, Executive Director of the Illinois Finance Authority/Climate Bank. “SB 3597 will ease the path for Illinois local governments to save taxpayers money when borrowing for clean energy infrastructure projects through responsible equitable climate finance.”

Senate Bill 3597 passed the Senate on Thursday and now heads to the House for further consideration.